Com­edy night

A com­edy show in Polk helps to raise funds for Our House.

The Standard Journal - - FRONT PAGE - By Sean Wil­liams SJ Cor­re­spon­dent

‘Were it not for Our House, I wouldn’t have any re­sources to help these women. I’ll be pas­sion­ate about Our House as long as the Lord gives me breath.’ Jamie New­some Cedar­town Chief of Po­lice

Even the most black-of-heart, pes­simistic grinch en­joys a hearty laugh, and the Our House women’s shel­ter cap­i­tal­ized on hu­mor with their most re­cent fundraiser that saw co­me­di­ans Kay Dodd, Sanji Joy, Lisa Mills, and Jen­nifer O’Brien per­form for a mas­sive au­di­ence of donors.

The women took to the stage prepped with anec­dotes and comedic ob­ser­va­tions dur­ing the re­cent event, and while the au­di­ence was left roar­ing, the event’s cause is no laugh­ing mat­ter.

Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Col­la­tion Against Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence ( NCADV,) one in three women and one in four men have ex­pe­ri­enced some form of phys­i­cal vi­o­lence from an in­ti­mate part­ner. Ge­or­gia ranks ninth in the na­tion for the rate at which men kill women, and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence hot­lines across the coun­try re­ceive ap­prox­i­mately 21,000 calls on a typ­i­cal day. While 26 Ge­or­gia coun­ties have lim­ited ac­cess to do­mes­tic vi­o­lence ser­vices, another 27 coun­ties of­fer no help at all.

Polk is not one of those coun­ties. Our House works to pro­vide a tem­po­rary safe house for bat­tered women and their chil­dren while work­ing to fur­nish them with the sup­port they need to for­ward in life. The fa­cil­ity has a 24-hour cri­sis line at 770-749-9330, and those experiencing a do­mes­tic vi­o­lence emer­gency are en­cour­aged to call. Those with gen­eral in­quiries about the shel­ter or in­ter­est in get­ting in­volved can call 770-748-2300. The or­ga­ni­za­tion’s le­gal ad­vo­cate can be con­tacted at 770- 748- 6633. Ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion can be found at https://www.face­book.com/polk­coun­ty­our­house/.

“Were it not for Our House, I wouldn’t have any re­sources to help these women,” Cedar­town Chief of Po­lice Jamie New­some said. “I’ll be pas­sion­ate about Our House as long as the Lord gives me breath.”

New­some’s pas­sion is shared among nu­mer­ous re­sources and pro­grams. Our House ac­com­mo­dated over 300 women in the past decade, and those in need will con­tinue to re­ceive shel­ter, do­mes­tic vi­o­lence ed­u­ca­tion, le­gal ser­vices, and much more.

Rev. Hazel Glover, Diane Hall, Karen Nis­sen, and Virginia Voll brought the women’s shel­ter to Polk in the sum­mer of 1994. The par­ties in­cor­po­rated as a Ge­or­gia non­profit cor­po­ra­tion and elected a board of di­rec­tors in hopes of help­ing vic­tims.

A life of fear is not the norm, and those in need of help are en­cour­aged to con­tact Our House.

Sean Wil­liams / SJ

Sandi Joy en­ter­tains a crowd at Vic­tory Bap­tist Church for an Our House Women’s Shel­ter fundraiser on Jan. 26.

ABOVE: Lisa Mills brings laughs to the crowd dur­ing a fundraiser for Our House Women’s Shel­ter in Cedar­town.

Pho­tos by Sean Wil­liams, The Stan­dard Jour­nal

RIGHT: The jokes spill out of Jen­nifer O’Brien as she takes the stage at Vic­tory Bap­tist Church. Do­na­tions go to­ward fund­ing the con­tin­u­ing op­er­a­tions of the do­mes­tic shel­ter, which in­cludes main­tain­ing a 24-hour cri­sis line.

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